It’s estimated that we produce 400 million tonnes of plastic waste globally (, much of which ends in landfills or the ocean. So, with this in mind, here I share 75 simple swaps to reduce your waste.

Plastic free July 75 simple swaps to reduce your waste

Calm Lavender & Chamomile Body Wash 1L Refill

  • Shampoo & conditioner → After lots of experimentation with making my own; using bar shampoos & conditioners, and asking for refills at our local organic hair salon I’ve settled on Awake Organics
  • Disposable razor → Either a safety razor or a reusable razor with disposable heads
  • Shaving foam Shaving foam in a tin + a wooden shaving brush.
  • Toothpaste → Toothpaste in a glass jar. We love Ben & Anna’s whitening toothpaste, Noice and Truthpaste for the kids
  • Toothbrush → Bamboo toothbrushes, Matana is my fave. Or if you have an electric toothbrush, you could try bamboo replacement heads
  • Dental floss → Refillable dental floss in a glass jar
  • Toner → I used to spend a fortune on toner but discovered a really simple recipe that takes 1 minute to make and my skin is in its best condition ever. You just need a cup of water and 2 tbsps. of apple cider vinegar, 5 drops of tea tree oil, 2 drops of frankincense and1 a drop of rosemary
  • Moisturiser → So many choices of gorgeous moisturisers in glass jars/tins. In the past couple of years, I’ve also gotten into face serums which have great results and last forever too
  • Body lotion Metal tins to the rescue once again, we love this one and this one
  • Deodorant Fit Pit is my current favourite, although Earth Conscious is brilliant too if you prefer a stick. These do work, which isn’t always the case with eco deodorants unfortunately
  • Anti-chafing cream →My husband took up cycling recently and this cream in a metal tin has worked wonders I’m told
  • Cotton buds → Bamboo cotton buds in a cardboard box
  • Wipes → I’ve invested in some reusable wipes and they’re still going strong 8 years later. You can also buy, or make, cute wipes specifically for makeup removal if you prefer
  • Plastic comb → Wooden hair comb
  • Hairdryer → Ditch the dryer and go for the natural look
  • Hair conditioning → Vegan hair oil is super nourishing and doesn’t make your hair greasy
  • Lipstick → I love Charlotte Tilbury’s refillable range
  • Mascara →Refillable mascara by Zao is fab
  • Bronzer → Body shop does some great tints in glass jars, and Charlotte Tilbury does powder refillable too
  • Perfume → It’s always upset me how much beautiful packaging ends up in the bin when you buy a bottle of perfume, not to mention the bottle itself. Finding Eden Perfumes in Brighton — which matches your existing perfume, is vegan, natural and comes in refillable bottles — has been a real breakthrough, not to mention a money saver
  • Period → I mix and match solutions according to where I am in my cycle.
  • Toilet paper → Who Gives A Crap does great zero-waste toilet paper, plus they donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world. A brilliant company
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  • Dish brush Wooden dish brush
  • Washing up sponges/pan scourers Coconut scrub pads & metal scourers
  • Cloths Compostable cloths
  • Bottlebrush → Wood & metal bottle brush
  • Washing up liquid → Refillable washing up liquid from your local refill shop
  • Dishwasher tablets Ecozone Ultra All-in-One dishwasher tablets come in a cardboard box and with a soluble outer, so no more nasty plastic wrappers
  • Rinse aid → Refillable rinse aid from your local refill shop
  • Dishwasher salt → Waitrose does dishwasher salts in a cardboard box, and so does Finish. Or you might be able to get this from your local refill shop too
  • Washing powder → I experimented with soapnuts but ended up sticking with washing powder in a cardboard box. The powder is much more cost-effective than liquid because you’re not paying for all the water
  • Cleaning sprays → You should be able to get most of your cleaning products from your local refill shop. Or you can make your own with baking soda, vinegar & lemons. Alternatively, check out Spruce and Everdrop who do great zero-waste eco ranges
  • Kitchen towel → I don’t use kitchen towels anymore and use sponges, tea towels or muslin cloths instead
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  • Carrier bags → Tote bags & fold-away pocket bags
  • Plastic or paper produce bags Mesh fruit & veg bags, which are super satisfying to use, and re-use
  • Bread → Etsy has loads of lovely linen bread bags so try asking your local bakery to slice naked loaves & then freeze them. Or I’ve recently discovered just how easy bread is to make!
  • Bagels → Our local bakery doesn’t sell bagels so I make my own and then freeze them. I love the Montreal bagel recipes
  • Pancakes → I make my American-style pancakes using this recipe as a breakfast as a weekend treat. They can be frozen and re-heated at a later date
  • Croissants etc → Lidl do fabulous loose croissants, pain au chocolates etc so we buy in bulk, pop them in the freezer and heat them again
  • Food waste → We have this nifty gadget in the salad drawer of the fridge which makes salad and veggies last much, much longer. I use a Nutri bullet to whizz up any sad-looking fruit & veggies into a smoothie. Food scraps go into our countertop compost bin. And of course, the OLIO app is a lifesaver for giving away anything extra we’ve got!
  • Clingfilm Beeswax wraps or recycled tin foil
  • Baking paper Eco baking paper and I have it on my to-do list to look into silicone baking sheets
  • Cereals Pimhill’s organic muesli in paper bags is the *best* muesli I’ve ever had! I also buy organic Weetabix in cardboard and paper. Porridge oats can be found in the refill shop or in cardboard boxes from the supermarket
  • Granola → Homemade granola is super simple, delicious and much cheaper than store-bought, plus without all the plastic. I love the Deliciously Ella recipe in her Plant-Based Cookbook
  • Crisps → You can also make your own crisps using vegetable peelings, some salt, oil and a hot oven. However, we tend to substitute crisps with homemade popcorn, made in the wok with a bit of hot oil and popping corn from the refill shop. You can then sprinkle salt/sugar etc and pop it in a container for a portable, eco snack
  • Cereal bars → I Batch cook homemade flapjacks, freeze them and then take them out whenever we need a snack on the go
  • Biscuits → Batch cook Anzac biscuits, or cookies, and then freeze
  • Milk & cream → Go old-school and get a doorstep delivery from Milk & More in glass bottles, which are then picked up on your next delivery and re-used over & over again
  • Yoghurt → I invested in a yoghurt maker and now make Greek yoghurt every week, which saves so many plastic yoghurt tubs. It just takes 10 minutes and you can buy the culture online. If you want a thick yoghurt, strain it through a muslin cloth. It tastes great with chopped-up fruit/ seeds/nuts plus homemade granola
  • Ice cream & sorbets → There are quite a few recipes that don’t require an ice cream maker and they’re surprisingly easy to make, plus you can get your cream in glass jars from Milk & More. We’ve found that Ben & Jerry’s packaging seems to be the least bad of the bought ice creams
  • Fruit juices → Milk & More also offers orange juice in a glass bottle which they reuse again and again, yay!
  • Cheese → Take your containers to the local deli or supermarket
  • Meat → Take your containers to the local deli, butcher or supermarket
  • Fish → Take your containers to the local fishmonger or supermarket. Or you can see if there’s a mobile fishmonger near you as they seem to be making a bit of a comeback
  • Hummus Homemade hummus takes 10 mins and is the *best*. You can also freeze it for later use, so we make large batches when we have the time
  • Eggs → More and more local shops allow you to take your own egg boxes with you so you’re not having to constantly recycle them. Or if you live in a village/the countryside, see if there’s a local egg shop near you
  • Fruit & veg → We get ours from Riverford Organic, and they have a brilliant Zero Waste Box. Also, check out your local greengrocer or corner store to see if they sell loose. Growing your own is also a fun and waste-free option too
  • Herbs, spices & oils → From the refill shop, or in glass containers from the supermarket
  • Pasta → From the refill shop or we sometimes make it at home with a pasta machine and then freeze it for later
  • Lentils, beans, pulses, rice → All available from the refill shops. You can save a fortune as they’re *so* much cheaper dried than in cans
  • Tea & coffee → Moving loose-leaf tea has been a revelation! No more expensive plastic-free tea bags. Instead, you can buy leaves lost and then mix & match to make whatever flavours you’d like. Liquorice & peppermint is my favourite, and I use a little washable tea bag, using each mix twice. For coffee lovers, you can also buy your beans whole and then grind them at home.
  • Fizzy drinks → Try out a Sodastream
  • Cooking chocolate, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar, dried fruits etc → From the refill shop
  • Chocolate Lindt is my absolute favourite and you can get it in cardboard & foil bars at a steep discount vs retail from their online shop. Tony’s Chocolony and Divine are other great options too
  • Sweets → We struggled with this one for a long time so were *thrilled* to recently discover The Vegan Sweet Box which can be ordered online and delivered in cardboard boxes & baking paper. The sweets are on another level — the best we’ve ever tasted!
  • Vitamins → As we’ve drastically reduced our meat & fish consumption we’ve decided to take vitamin supplements. We love Vegums which does multi-vitamins, Omega 3 and iron gummies in a cardboard box with a home-compostable cellulose wrapper. They’re a *big* hit with the kids!
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  • New clothes → Buy 2nd hand or end-of-line. If we’re buying new we try to buy from sustainable brands such as Nu-in and BAM
  • Socks & underwear → Bamboo all the way. Boody are great
  • Slippers → 100% wool or sheepskin so they’ll decompose naturally when you’re done. I get mine from Etsy.
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  • Plastic bottle Refillable water bottle. Or if you’re travelling overseas, you might want to get water-purifying bottles such as the Grayl which has saved us a mountain of plastic and money
  • Coffee cup → Re-usable coffee cup, or thermos flask
  • Plastic cutlery → Travel cutlery set made of bamboo or metal
  • Paper serviettes → Cloth napkin
  • Packaged sandwiches → We use the Keep Leaf Sandwich Wrap for homemade sandwiches, and carry a thin cloth bag for sandwiches/bagels bought from the counter
Pure Black Lunch Bag | Pure Black Double Wall Bottle 500ml | Pure Black Bamboo Fibre Lunch Box


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